Over the past few years, the self-described “ambient punk” band Deerhunter has released several iconoclastic albums often used as a weighing standard for the rest of the indie rock movement, and their new album, Halcyon Digest, is no exception.
The release of Halcyon Digest shows the band is as diverse as ever. Lead singer Bradford Cox, the driving force behind the band, blurs the line between Deerhunter and his solo project, Atlas Sound.
This is in no way a bad thing.
Songs like “Helicopter,” “He Would Have Laughed,” and the album opener “Earthquake,” all have the unmistakable ambient-electronic Atlas Sound vibe which is absent from previous releases.
The rest of the album is the definitive Deerhunter, complete with dreamy guitar backings and the reverb-heavy meandering of Cox. This couldn’t be better exemplified than by the single “Revival,” one of the more dance-worthy tunes on the LP. “Sailing” takes a more melancholy turn further promoting the album’s diverse blend of psychedelic ambience.
Guitarist Lockett Pundt also shines on the track “Desire Lines” which is not only single-worthy, it is arguably one of the best and most defining Deerhunter songs yet. It’s also a song where Cox drops some of his most striking and sincere vocal lines — “When you were young/ And your excitement showed/ But as time goes by is it outgrown?” This track alone is worth the price for fans of indie music.
Cox stated the album is based around the concept of how the mind uses and often creates it’s own memories out of the fragmentation of others. As difficult as this would seem to translate into an auditory medium, the end result is the most focused, entertaining and downright impressive Deerhunter album yet. Not to mention a damn good work of art.